Saturday, 21 July 2007

European Grand Tour 2007 Day 4

Day 4

Somehow, despite the bells, we managed to oversleep a little on this day. So we skipped breakfast and headed straight for Varenna.

Varenna is pretty much directly opposite Menaggio and a short boat ride away. After impressing my friend the ticket lady ("due billietti a Varenna retorno per favore") we were on our way.

Varenna, originally uploaded by xrrr.

Varenna is quite small and mostly split into 2 main parts: The lake front and the town square by the church. We normally travel with the DK Eye Witness Travel books as we find them great at pointing out the best things to do in an honest style. On this trip we did not have one so had been relying on some substandard guide books and the tourist information booths. After hunting around for a while we eventually found the Varenna tourist info place. It was closed.

Varenna, originally uploaded by xrrr.

By this time we were starving so decided to go for breakfast somewhere. Whilst eating breakfast by the lake we came across a mention in our (not very good) guide book of the Villa Monastero botanical gardens so we thought we would head over there.

Villa Monastero Gardens, originally uploaded by xrrr.

Good choice! The villa itself is a conference centre (god I wish that our annual work conference was there rather than the East Midlands Conference Centre in Nottingham with its, what I call, Camp Colditz style accommodation!) so the villa was out of bounds but the gardens and the views from the gardens were awesome:

Villa Monastero Gardens, originally uploaded by xrrr.

The scenery was a picture and one that a number of people were taking advantage of:

After the villa we had a pizza and a beer in a great location right by the waterfront. A great place to spend a couple of hours and bask in the sunshine drinking beer.

Lunch by the lake, originally uploaded by xrrr.

After sitting for a while it was time to head back to Menaggio, where we had an[other] ice cream and a stroll along the lake front. It was so nice we just sat by the lake and read a book for a few hours in the sunshine with this view from our bench:

An evening sitting by the lake, originally uploaded by xrrr.

Very relaxing.

[All Photos][Next Day]

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